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SAP Africa new Initiative to bolster women in technology

In its ongoing efforts to drive ICT skills development in Africa, SAP has announced the conclusion of two significant Rwandan initiatives in alignment with the country’s focused ICT and youth skills development goals.

This follows the kick-off of Africa Code Week (ACW) 2016 at the World Economic Forum held in Kigali in May this year.

Collaboration to drive gender equality in ICT education

As part of the African Union Summit that was held in Kigali in July, the Africa Code Week Women in Tech Community was launched in the presence of Rwandan Minister of Education Dr Papias Malimba Musafiri at an event hosted by SAP and key partners.

This continent-wide network brings together game changers in female ICT education, eager to become role models for girls and women in their respective communities. Partners include: Cape Town Science Centre, kLab, Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Africa Smart Investments Distribution and Girls in ICT Rwanda.

With millions of African girls still not receiving a formal education and UNESCO estimating that gender equality in the ICT sector could open up a global market of $50 to 70 billion, ICT is increasingly the focus of many empowerment organizations for girls and women across the continent. Last year, Africa Code Week helped to balance gender equality in ICT education with female participation reaching 60% in Tunisia, 56% in South Africa and 50% in Togo. In 2016, the Africa Code Week Women in Tech Community wants to continue encouraging girls and young women to gain ICT skills by fostering knowledge exchange and mentoring for female participants all over Africa.

Innovation projects

In another initiative, and for the first time in partnership with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), a group of SAP employees recently concluded a number of social sabbatical projects in Kigali during July and August. The SAP Social Sabbatical is a short-term volunteer assignment for SAP employees. The programme assembles international teams to solve business challenges for entrepreneurial and educational organizations in emerging markets, while helping employees strengthen their leadership competencies, cross-industry knowledge and intercultural sensitivity.

The assignments in Kigali included:

HeHeLabs is a mobile technology company based in Kigali that connects people to information by building tailor-made solutions. The SAP team helped develop a business plan for HeHeLabs’ new platform that fosters collaboration between young African innovators.

The Rwanda ICT Chamber is the umbrella organization for new companies in the Information Communication Technology sector. The SAP team developed a tool that exchanges information about digital business amongst businesses.

The Youth association for Human Rights promotion and development (AJPRODHO – JIJUKIRWA) is a non-profit youth organization founded at the National University of Rwanda to improve the situation of youth and children through human rights promotion and protection. An SAP team worked on a project for 8 000 youth (70% women) to help increase their access to business skills, information and services, so that they can take steps towards the regularization or formalization of their activities.

Non-profit organization Partners in Health is helping Rwanda develop a world-class health system through service, training, advocacy, and research. The SAP team worked with GSK to develop an internal, integrated database to be shared across departments.

“As a founding partner of Impact 2030, SAP has committed to facilitating avenues for cooperation between stakeholders to initiate joint commitments,” says Ashley Boag, SAP Africa East Africa acting Managing Director.

“We have partnered with GSK here in Rwanda to demonstrate that when we bring employees together that possess unique skills, we can jointly create a greater, long-term impact. We believe this is one of the best ways for the private and public sector to collaborate on projects where there is a real need for technological innovation and expertise.”

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